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We have been feeding raw now for about 6 months. I am a complete convert, things are really going well. My 6yo girl has increased energy, is a very enthusiastic eater. I feel comfortable with our bone/meat/organ ratios and have gone from measuring each day amount and re-packaging to the "weekly tub method" seeing that over a weeks time, she gets what she needs. Yeah!

Now for the wrinkle. This all started because of severe allergies. Goopy ears, severe itching, hot spots. Although she is better, I am still seeing allergy symptoms. I am convinced that it is environmental, but the vet is not. She really wants to do a good food trial on a novel protein. And to be honest, it will help me too, to be sure that I am not missing a realitively simple piece of the puzzle. The vet supports raw feeding (well, tolerates more likely) but recommends the prepackaged varieties that are WAY out of my budget, even for a 6 week food trial.

HERE IS MY QUESTION: How can I supplement for bone if I do a raw venison trial. I have access to FREE venison steaks and roasts from a hunter, and maybe bones in the future, but not right now. I am completely avoiding chicken (easiest source for bone in my area)
Can I add pumpkin to firm up stools? brown rice? I see this as temporary (I hope)
 

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The bone is for calcium so she will need them in some form. You could ask the butcher to grind the bones, or buy a commercial grinder yourself. If you could get the neck bones of the deer, they should be soft enough for the dog to chew up. I used to feed pork neck bones and I know some who feed lamb neck bones. The weight bearing bones would have to be ground. I've heard of some ppl getting bone dust from the butcher from grinding and cutting bones.

Or check into supplementing with what she will be missing if you take the bone out for the trial period.
 

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I am by far no RAW expert but you said you feel it may be environmental? It very well might be. Can you get a second opinion? Or find one of the raw feeding guru's on here and send them a pm, I bet they can help.
 

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The proof that it is environmental will come when she has been on a novel protein for 6weeks and continues to itch. But the thing is, she's been on beef only for 6 weeks (raw). My understanding is that chances are very slim that she is reacting to raw beef. While beef allergies are fairly common for cooked beef or kibble, raw feeding is different. Opinions? Can I confidently move forward or do I really need to do a venison or rabbit trial as the vet recommends?
 

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My thoughts and opinion is that if you want to try a novel source of protein, and she is healthy otherwise, a few weeks without bone won't hurt her in the long-run. If her stool do get too loose, perhaps pumpkin is the way to go.

With the raw venison that you have access to, wouldn't there be some bone included? rib bones are probably soft enough for her to eat.

If it were me, I'd be willing to try a six week trial of a novel protein just to make sure that all bases are covered, and not being able to stick to your regular ratios of MM, RMB and OM for a few weeks shouldn't be a deal breaker. It's not like she will always be eating that way, just as a trial to see if the itching stops.
 

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My partner's dog is also an allergic mess. She does seem to have food allergies (especially chicken) but far worse are her environmental allergies.

We put her on preprepared NV rabbit for 6 weeks and didn't see a huge difference. Currently she is on pre-prepared pork (Answers brand) + NV Instinct kibble, rabbit & salmon. She did not do that well on beef. Allergy dogs tend to do better on "cooling" foods. Venison is hot and probably would not be a good choice for a dog with allergies.

Getting her off of chicken and turkey has helped but was has helped far more is adding high doses of vitamin C and fish oil to her food. She has also been on a variety of Chinese herbs for 3 months and that is also really helping (she is seeing a holistic vet right now). We also give her Animals' Apawthecary Spring Tonic tincture. We used to give that twice a day but now only give it once. That really helped a lot, especially when we first started using it.

She is a different dog this winter than last. She clearly still has allergies but she is feeling and looking so much better.
 

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Which of course is all "depends"...my girl has food allergies and does amazing on Venision and Bison. So you just don't know what she'll do good on!

What about duck eggs dried and ground for her calcium? I'm assuming chicken eggs would be out.......(disclaimer: not RAW feeder, just supplement with extras and deal with food allergies!)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Lucia-that was what I was thinking too. Less worried about nutrition knowing this is temporary, but I know that we will have diarrhea issues without bone.

I am considering adding turkey for bones as she has not had much of that in her life. But also bought pumpkin today.

The venison I have right now is completely boneless. We will most likely get some bones and organ meat soon, but it isn't going to be consistent.

Thanks for the replies!
 

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So why didn't your vet just go with a blood allergy test?
I played the elimination game for 2 years with no results. I finally paid for a Heska lab test after Onyx had an ear hematoma. She does have environmental allergies, we are still trying to get it under control with shots.
I want to go with the Chinese herbs too. I've done most everything else! I'm reading the book 4 paws 5 directions and it is very interesting...not sure how easy it will be to locate the recommended herbs.
Ruth, the tonic tincture sounds interesting!
 

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We have been feeding raw now for about 6 months. I am a complete convert, things are really going well. My 6yo girl has increased energy, is a very enthusiastic eater. I feel comfortable with our bone/meat/organ ratios and have gone from measuring each day amount and re-packaging to the "weekly tub method" seeing that over a weeks time, she gets what she needs. Yeah!

Now for the wrinkle. This all started because of severe allergies. Goopy ears, severe itching, hot spots. Although she is better, I am still seeing allergy symptoms. I am convinced that it is environmental, but the vet is not. She really wants to do a good food trial on a novel protein. And to be honest, it will help me too, to be sure that I am not missing a realitively simple piece of the puzzle. The vet supports raw feeding (well, tolerates more likely) but recommends the prepackaged varieties that are WAY out of my budget, even for a 6 week food trial.

HERE IS MY QUESTION: How can I supplement for bone if I do a raw venison trial. I have access to FREE venison steaks and roasts from a hunter, and maybe bones in the future, but not right now. I am completely avoiding chicken (easiest source for bone in my area)
Can I add pumpkin to firm up stools? brown rice? I see this as temporary (I hope)

Ok, first of all I would ask - EXACTLY what are you feeding the dog each day? List the foods, their sources, any supplements, treats, etc.

Next, I would avoid ANY carbs (like the rice) as they can be allergy triggers.

Elimination diets are almost impossible to do based on the fact that you could spends MONTHS trying to narrow down which item in the diet is the problem (especially if you are feeding kibble or even a mixed variety raw).

Instead, I recommend what I call the IID - Ingredient Inclusion Diet. Start with a single protein source - let's say the venison. For 6 weeks you will use ONLY that item in the dogs diet ... and I mean ONLY that ONE SINGLE ITEM. No treats, no supplements, no nothing other than that one item.

Since you can't get hold of venison bones I would add 800-1000 mgs of calcium to the dogs diet in supplement form. Yes, I know I just said no supplements but you really need the calcium. You can use ground eggshells (rinse them, place on cookie sheet in a low oven to dry) - 1/2 teaspoon for a pound of raw meat. You can use any over the counter calcium supplement (carbonate, lactate or citrate) but read the ingredients label to make sure there's nothing else in there.
 

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Laurie - much of the calcium also has Vit D in it. Should that be avoided and find just calcium or can those be used and just lower the organ meat amount? How sensitive to Vit D are dogs?
 
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